Friday, 14 August 2015

Swimming with Four Kids. There's No Wine For That.

I swim. 

I don’t like to but I can do it. 

Something weird happened as I got older; I discovered a large body of blue water is purely for dive-bombing into with screams of joy.  That look doesn’t do a person in her early 40’s any favours.

But as I’ve got kids and am of the opinion swimming is kind of important because it could save their lives one day, I take them.  It helps enormously, kind of, that they love it.

We now have three swimmers and the youngest is an inch or two away from standing comfortably on the floor of the pool without his armbands.  Once he can do that with more than half his nose above water level, we will discard his floats one by one and let him find his own feet literally with swimming.

It’s still not easy though. 

Taking them all swimming. 

For instance there’s the sports bags.  Lots of sports bags. 

There’s the towels.  Lots of towels.

There’s the goggles.  Lots of……….

You get the picture.  We also have a smaller bag with shower stuff, extra hats, some dive toys, an empty Toy Story bubble rocket and a fish or two. 

Then I have to get them to the pool.  For kids who love to swim it’s the devils mother trying to get them out of the house and into the car.

We arrive.  I park up the car. Then I issue the usual warnings for them not to open the door and race off without me………………..

“WHAT did I just SAY?  Are you even LISTENING to me?  It’s DANGEROUS!  We are in a BUSY car PARK!”

Seems I still shout and screech at the swimming pool.

Walking in, the demands for their swipe cards start. 

Small kids have no patience and wave their swipe card in front of the laser thingy over and over again. 

“It’s not working.  It’s not beeping.  Why won’t it let me ……?”

BEEEEEEEP.

They don’t push the turnstile in time and have to swipe again.

Repeat x 4.

Then I get to go through.

Changing rooms next.  The boys are hopping around like cats on a hot tin roof because the door is slightly ajar and they are slightly naked.

“Someone will SEE us.  CLOSE the door.”

“Help me with my goggles.”

“Help me with my trunks.  My foot is stuck.”

“Can I go now?”

“Help me with my armbands.”

“Can I GO now?”

“He has my towel.”

“He’s opening the door.”

“He’s in my SPOT!”

“Can I please GO NOW?”

“He’s sticking his bum into my face!”

God!

I cheat.  I leave all the bags, all the towels, all the clothes, all the shoes, all the other bags in the changing room and submerge myself under the water when the message “please remove all of your belongings from the changing rooms and use lockers provided” plays out over the Tannoy system. 

No, I don’t.

Submerge myself under water I mean. 

I totally do cheat and leave everything in the changing rooms.

I have the fear of being trapped with four kids in a tiny cubicle as one person takes their leisure in the family sized one. 

It’s time to face the water music.  The older three are already in it.  I ask Smallest Boy to sit on the side as I wet his armbands to help them slide onto his arms easily.

The next 20 minutes or so are spent refereeing their water play and asking them to please remember there are other people in the pool.   

Then it’s out of the showers and into the changing room.

“Stop swinging your trunks over your head.  Water is going everywhere!”

“He’s wetting me!”

“He has my towel.”

“Can you help dry me?”

“I’m hungry.”

“I’m STARVING!”

“Stop dripping water all over my clothes and please rub your hair.  You’re getting your clothes wet.”

“I’m still hungry.”

“I can’t find my shoes.”

“Can I go to the hair dryers?”

“Are we getting something to eat?”

“Why aren’t you DRESSED?  You’ve been standing there for ages and you’re not even dried.  Come on.  Please help me.”

“Can I go to the hair dryers?”

Finally we’re done.  Now I have to get them out of the building and into the car. 

“Please don’t run.  We have to cross a busy car park……………………I SAID don’t RUN!  Is anyone LISTENING to me?”

I’m sweating.  I need a shower.

I swim. 

I don’t like to but I can do it. 

But as I’ve got kids and am of the opinion swimming is kind of important because it could save their lives one day, I take them.  It helps enormously, kind of, that they love it.

But it has almost broken me.

   


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